Bioethics and Social Sciences

March, 2006 to May, 2009

This research tries to find new pathways for anthropological engagement in biotechnological fields. One possible solution is offered by the social science and feminist critique of mainstream bioethics discourse, which can open a niche for anthropological expertise on biotechnology related issues. The gender perspective can be employed as a critical tool in anthropological research while addressing, for example, the challenges brought by modern biotechnologies into the world of human relationships. Furthermore, this perspective is useful for revealing hidden power relations in knowledge production and in the creation of expert discourses and normative frameworks. In turn, anthropologists’ engagement with biotechnology can contribute to the rethinking of some fundamental concepts of anthropological theory and practice, such as nature, kinship and identity. Results of this research have been presented by Enikô Demény at the International Conference “Anthropology, Ethnography and Biotechnology,” held in Vilnius, in September 2007 and published in the book Social Anthropology, Ethnography and Biotechnology.